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Jay Bonin

RIP Boris Privman. My fellow warrior. We've played over 400 tournament games together. Many tough battles. We coulda played a few more in the Fairfield quads but we missed each other. When I return to the Marshall I wont see you anymore. A big void. When I get to heaven we'll resume our battles.


Rip Boris played him before a great player extremley hard to beat with his slow style of posisional play he never blunders great endgame

Eric John Dluhos

A sad day for chess. RIP Boris. Though an amateur I am honored I got to play with you once officially, and thank you for all your kind comments to encourage me! Marshall club won't be the same without you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Rip Boris Privman. Very strong player who destroyed me and had very good endgame skills.

Nick F. Panico III

Very sad to hear about the passing of a great person and chess player. This man loved playing and competing in tournaments with a fervor that is beyond the scope of most chess players.

Playing him and getting whooped, which was quite often in my early days, made me a better player in the long run. After I took those lessons from him, we had some nice battles that were very competitive.

He always seemed to be satisfied in a game where there was an intense battle, regardless of what the result was. I’ll never forget the week that we played 4 times in 4 different tourneys in the Tri-State area!

RIP Boris.

Nico Chasin

From the ritual 8pm quick medicine break to his exchange Pirc positions where he would find a way to outplay me, Boris was very special.

Boris was always a gladiator on and off the chessboard; no matter what was thrown at him he would find a way to conquer it.

I will miss our pre-game chats and our post-game analysis. It's heartbreaking to hear that another one of the rundles on the Holy Marshall ladder has fallen.

Rest easy my good friend.

James West

Having played more than 100 tournament games against him, I know first-hand that FM Boris Privman was a talented endgame player. As a young man, Boris studied endgames with IM Moshe Czerniak who played against three world champions: Capablanca, Alekhine, and Fischer.


Boris Privman was an legend of the Marshall chess club who will be dearly missed. He was well known for his prowess in the endgame and his ability to squeeze water from a stone. It’s a true shame that he won’t be there when the Marshall’s doors open. Rest in Power, Boris.

Anthony Levin

Crushed by the passing of FIDE Master Boris Privman.

He was the first chess master I played. I still remember our first game, when I was still unrated, in the basement of a teen rec center. He played his usual Philidor Defense (1. e4 d6 2. d4 e5 3. dxe5 dxe5 4. Qxd8 Kxd8 5. Bc4 Be6! 6. Bxe6 fxe6) and I immediately captured on e5., and later e6, thinking how could a master allow me to prevent him from castling AND double his pawns? Being at about 1800 strength, I thought I was going to crush this master, and suddenly found myself without a plan as he castled long and counterattacked, repeating a plan he had refined for decades.

After the game, he explained to me in his Russian accent that this was a well known idea, one known since the USSR days and black was 100% equal. I learned a deep lesson -- that there is nuance to every rule we are taught. What looks like a weakness is not always a weakness.

I had several games against Boris and when I finally beat him, many years later, it was one of the greatest feelings of my life. I played him in Fairfield even during the pandemic. In our last game, played in 2021, he defended a completely lost endgame tenaciously to hold a draw.

Boris not only knew chess history, but he was also a part of it. Anybody who played at the Marshall at least somewhat regularly would have known him. He was praised for his encyclopedic knowledge of the endgame. I learned more from him, but can only share so much in this post.

He had an entire life full of experiences before I even met him, but I just wanted to share a piece of the impact this older, gentle man had on me. I looked forward to seeing him again at the Marshall Chess Club and am so saddened that he never lived to see it reopen. Will really miss you, Boris. до следующей встречи...

Tanitoluwa Adewumi

RIP Boris Privman we had some good battles and I remembered when it was Queen vs rook and I had the Queen and your defense was too good that I couldn't break through, and it ended as a Draw
I was looking forward to playing you more in Fairfield Quads but times are tough, we had some good games there and you really put me to the Ground i was lucky to be able to fight through.

We will all see you again, thank you for everything you were really a good Man :)


Michael O’Connor

My record against Boris was 1-6-3.I was rated 1717 the fist time I played him.He told me to work on my endgame.He said if I study endgames I can reach master level without a problem.He will be missed in the chess world .We always played at Rahway chess mates and Ken Thomas tournaments.R.I.P Boris

John Brosnan

I played Boris so many games at the Bergen Chessmates club in Northern NJ. He was very giving of his time to all who attended the club. Mr. Privman was always willing to analyze afterwards; or to go over the games of lower rated players to assist them. He was an engaging person to talk to on any topic. I was struck by his sincerity; a rare trait I think. As others have stated; he was an endgame technician supreme. I also will never forget his disdain for chess engine analysis. "Put that thing away!" (to a player using a smartphone engine app while analyzing).

Max Lu

I am saddened to learn of the passing of a great Marshall legend, Boris Privman.

Before the pandemic, Boris and I faced off regularly at the Thursday Night Action. Subsequently, we faced a few times at the Fairfield Quads. Although this was unique from our typical rendezvous at the Marshall, the same fighting spirit and passionate zeal emanated from our pandemic encounters.

Despite being a well-known expert on the London system and the Philidor Defense, our games together were always interesting, and often took an unusual turn. In our final game -- played in October 2020 at the Fairfield Quads -- Boris experimented with a creative, offbeat opening foray: 1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 f6!? I admired his creative spirit and his enthusiasm for occasionally plunging into the unknown.

Boris' affection for chess was infectious. Many nights at the Marshall, he'd be the first to come and last to leave, watching every game with the intensity as if it was his own. Together with another late legend, Wesley Hellner, Boris always impressed me with his stamina and ability to share insights on any game he watched.

I wish we would play again. You will be missed. Rest in chess.

Liam Putnam

I played Boris around 5 times in tournaments, maybe more. I played dozens of games against him outside of tournaments, and have never encountered anyone with his style. He always played unorthodox opening systems, but knew them so well, and most of the time would grind down him opponents in the endgame. He was a wise man, and I learned a lot from watching him play. He was a big part of the Marshall Chess Club, and I'm sad to learn that he passed away.

Rest In Peace, Boris

Anthony cheesekozikowski

My dear boris, I know you can hear us now, I only knew you for 3 years, but in that time you not only made me a better chess player,, your kindness and warmth made me a better person!!!! I can't believe I'll never get to shake your hand. You accomplished something few on this planet do, you passed as a master of passion!!!! You shared it freely with all those who asked, and you will always be a part of my heart!!!!!
Rest I'm peace my friend, and when the Angels ask to play a game of chess, don't give them a draw!!!!!

William Guskind

Very unfortunate that we lost such an amazing chess legend. His presence will be sorely missed, not just at the Marshall, but also at many other places. I played him a bunch of times, and he always beat me, sometimes right out of the opening, other times in the endgame. He always would be willing to analyze the game afterwards, which was nice. Studying a lot of his tournament games helped me improve my knowledge of the London System and Pirc defense, as well as some other opening. RIP

Shahryar Siamdoust

Boris was a great Chess player and overall person. We played over 20 times and I would learn a lot from every game. He was very nice to analyze every game we played and a lot of games he didn't play. It's going to be sad without him around especially as he was a very active player. May he R.I.P and God rest his soul.

Daniel Yassky

Whenever I’d take the train from NJ to visit the Marshall for the Thursday Action, out of all the players at the MCC, I looked forward to seeing Boris. Boris was one of the fiercest opponents of the old guard at the Marshall; however, it was the man off the board which I remember.

Whether it be our conversations on chess endgames or Boris’s wry humor, which effortlessly switched back-and-forth from English to Hebrew, I’m lucky I got to know Boris.

A very sad day for the Marshall and for chess.

Darren Lustig

It seems every time I visit the Marshall Chess Club web site I learn of another heart breaking loss to our chess community. From Mike Layesky, Ilye Figler, Ed Kopiecki, Wesley Hellner and now losing Boris Privman I cant imagine the marshall chess club will ever be the same again. Thank God we still have Jay Bonin and James West to keep that old school magic alive at the club. Boris was a good guy who was always willing to settle disputes over who had more winning chances in a chess position. I know he was very interested in endgame positions and seemed to have a sixth sense about how to go about winning in a complicated endgame. I remember watching James West and Boris argue many times at the club over who was better in the endgame and someone could have drawn the game. It was awesome and very educating for any chess enthusiast. Many weekend tournaments at the Marshall wound down Sunday night with Ed Kopiecki, James West, Wesley Heller, Boris, and myself watching the last few games being played because it was fun and intriguing. I will miss Boris and his love of the game

Adam Maltese

While I have not been as active playing in recent years it was always good to see Boris while stopping by the Marshall. Having played 38 times he was a fierce competitor and as others have said especially masterful in the endgame. He will be sorely missed in the chess community and remembered not only as an iron man of chess but for his great personality.

Lev Zilbermintz

On the behalf of the entire Garden State Chess League, of which I am the President, and the West Orange Chess Club, of which I am the Acting President, I offer my sympathies and condolences to family of Boris Privman and the chess community at large. Privman was a regular player in both New Jersey and New York tournaments in the 1990s and 2000s, 2010s. I also played played blitz with him at Frank's Chess Academy in Leonia, NJ. He was a formidable blitz player. I do believe he was ahead by one game, 7-6, in our Leonia matches.

Privman was dangerous in the endgame, which he knew well, and the Hanham Variation/Black Lion, which he knew intimately. I had to teach myself some of these lines! They are quite good, and I used them against other players.

Boris Privman will be dearly missed by those that knew him. My chess newsletter, Unorthodox Openings Newsletter, will have a tribute to Boris Privman in #38.

Rest in peace, Boris Privman.

You will be dearly missed.

Robert LaChaussee

I used to talk to him in Hamilton NJ. He was a staple of the NJ chess seen for a while.
Peace and love my fellow chess people.

Steven Herman

RIP Boris.

Boris and I would often play 5 minute games during our work lunch hours in the 1980's. He was fantastic at that speed and always beat me.

Boris worked for me during that time as I trained him as he pursued his credentials as a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FACS). After I left that company in 1987, I never played against him again although I saw him more often at actuarial functions.

Sheldon Mandel

I knew Boris from many years ago at Asser Levy park in Coney Island. A kind, decent guy, and an excellent player. Sad for him to die so young...

Evan Rabin

Boris was such a nice fellow, having played him many times and enjoying his company. We loved chatting about game analysis and Israel. RIP.

Zack Dvey-Aharon

Boris was such a kind, humble and talented person. Chatting with him at the Marshall and playing against him was always something I looked forward to. He will be missed.

Sergei Kanevsky

Play Boris a few times in Virginia and later in NY when I moved there. He crushed me completely. Not a single draw. Very resourceful player. RIP.

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